Saturday, March 8, 2008

Was He Bipolar? Considerant's Melancholy and Suicidal Thoughts

Once at La Reunion, amid the anarchy and conflict, a deep depression seized him. As his former optimism turned to defeatism, he became sullen, withdrawn, and totally negative toward the adventure. Under rigorous psychological strain, he succumbed to a severe nervous malady which incapacitated him for long periods of time. In this mental and physical state, Victor Considerant, who only a few months earlier had proclaimed a new social order, contemplated suicide. With much pain and self-effacement, he wrote:

“In the midst of all the ideas which seized my mind, of all the kinds of pain which hacked at me, of rages which filled my desperate thoughts, I was incessantly ruled by the same impulse: write to Europe that all is ended by an immediate liquidation and commit suicide."

Source: Rondel V. Davidson, "Victor Considérant and the Failure of La Réunion," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 76 (January 1973).

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